“Once you’re clear about what you need to feel loved and secure in your relationship, you can decide what to release in order to make room for the love you want to experience.” -Monique Allison
What about you, do you feel secure in your relationship?
In the past, I used to believe that my boyfriends were responsible for making me feel good about myself and the relationship. I thought that if they behaved in a particular way and said certain things to assure me that I was liked or loved by them, that it meant that we were all good. Now I have a different perspective on who’s truly responsible for making me feel secure in my relationships.
I’m sharing my thoughts on this topic and giving you access to a few resources out of my relationship clarity toolbox on emotional management.
I know I mentioned feeling both loved & secure but I want to put “love” aside for the moment and focus on feeling “secure” in your relationship.
While I was writing this, I asked my boyfriend if he feels secure in our relationship and he said “yes”. Then I asked, is that sense of security based on anything that I’m doing and he said “no” because he feels secure in himself. To be totally honest, I haven’t been as present in our relationship as I would like to be. I’ve been experiencing so much transition it’s been challenging for me to prioritize our relationship like I want to. What I do prioritize is, communication. Despite the space I’m in, I do my best to be conscious of his feelings as well. I check in with him to see where he’s at emotionally (which he always say, I’m good sweat heart, you know I don’t let anything stress me out). I also let him know how I felt after I’ve sorted things out or how I’m feeling while we’re talking. We openly discuss anything that may pose a problem so we can resolve them.
One way that your partner can take on some responsibility with your sense of security is with being a trusted confidante. If there’s something troubling you that impacts the relationship, you should be able to express that to him knowing that he has a listening ear.
If my boyfriend needed me to make him feel secure, he’d probably feel neglected and that could definitely make someone feel unwanted and insecure. That’s why communication is important so we can avoid misunderstandings.
How much responsibility do you think your partner should have for making you feel secure in your relationship?
Our intimate relationships can make us feel emotionally vulnerable and that’s bound to trigger our personal insecurities. Our inner voice gets louder and past issues can show up. When this happens we tend to shift the responsibility of feeling better on our partners, but the truth of the matter is you have to take ownership of your feelings.Your partner cannot meet all of your emotional needs therefore it’s on you. He can be supportive by listening and giving advice but only you can manage the internal navigation of managing your emotions.
To me ownership in this situation is all about taking personal responsibility for managing your feelings (I explain what that means further down). When you are able to master your emotions, you tend not to struggle with your insecurities as much as those who are not aware of how to make sense of their emotions.
That’s because the struggle is more internal and most of the time even independent of the circumstances. This is when it's important to gain clarity with your insecurities before bringing your partner into it and causing an irrational response that’s misguided.
I understand certain situations may call for reassurance from your partner. However there are times, when being reassured still doesn’t help you feel any better.
So what do you do in those moments?
Here're my thoughts: Rather than always looking to the other person to make you feel secure in your relationship, get into the habit of learning how to pay attention to your feelings and knowing what they mean.
For example, say you lack a sense of security about being attractive and you want your partner to make you feel attractive. You expect him to give you compliments and rave about the sex you guys are having. Say he does that but not in the way you think he should and in your mind he’s not that into you. Does he have to learn how to compliment you in a specific way to reassure you or do you have to work on being more confident about feeling attracted whether he recognizes it or not?
My perspective is, it starts with you.
Feeling insecure in a relationship often has very little to do with the relationship itself and a whole lot to do with you! Feeling secure comes from within, and you cannot expect your partner to meet all of your emotional needs.
It’s also about communication.
When you truly own the fact that you’re responsible for understanding and meeting your emotional needs you can better understand how to effectively respond when your insecurity is triggered. Then talking with your partner comes from a place of understanding rather than a place of blame.
Here’s an example of exploring/managing a core emotion. Labeling the feeling, knowing the message and then recognizing what to do about it.
Hurt (loss, pain)
- You have an expectation that is not being met.
- Change your perspective on the situation.
- Try looking at the problem through someone else’s eyes.
- Change the way you are communicating your desires or needs to others.
- Change the way you are behaving or treating others.
- Give up the fact that you are right about this situation.
In toxic relationships one of the core emotions that you experience is hurt. If you can recognize the message that feeling is sending you, it’s easier to figure out the best solution needed to alleviate the pain. Then decide what needs to be released in order to make room for what you want to experience instead.
Here are the resources you can use to get started on mastering your emotions. If you commit to practicing these exercises, you will strengthen your sense of security in any relationship.
Click for immediate access:
- Resource #1: Feelings log
- Resource #2: Master your emotions cheat sheet
I would love to get your feedback about this exercise. So, email me at:(firstname.lastname@example.org) with any comments or questions.
With Love & Gratitude,